Politics in the Valley
Independence – how ‘bout we declare our independence in Putnam Valley.
Politics is local. The electorate has the greatest power to participate in politics locally. In
Putnam Valley, it hasn’t worked out that way.
A town weary from taxes, economic stress, press smears, and good ol’ boys has little choice this year,
but we do have some.
Sliding comfortably back into entrenched politics after the Davis uprising, the Democrats and Republicans have endorsed
the same candidates for Town Clerk, Highway Superintendent and Town Justice.
There will be a Republican primary, and if enough Republicans voters see fit, there will at least be a
contest for Highway Superintendent. It’s tough to be enthusiastic about a contest in which so little is contested.
However, more is contested than it seems at first glance.
For those who have followed recent guilty pleas and sentences, realize that the only way to get
rid of Vinnie Leibell politics is to vote it out. 21 months of jail term isn’t going to change
politics in Putnam Valley. So you need to view the races carefully.
Mr. Tendy was so supportive of Mr. Leibell’s politics that he wrote a letter to the judge
telling him not to put Mr. Leibell in jail. Bob seems to consistently have difficulty with legal and illegal, right
and wrong, political pork and fiscal integrity. Mr. Leibell and Bob’s cronies can be seen on
the GOP website, until this opinion piece comes out, and the GOP takes the photos down.
Then there is the mailer that went out before the County Executive race last election. It was distressing. Mr. Leibell was already under federal
investigation. To ignore that fact requires such a high level of arrogance. The mailer prominently featured a large photo of Sam Oliverio, and
another photo of Mr. Oliverio with Vinnie Leibell. Mr. Oliverio has been outspoken in his support of Vinnie Leibell for years. This has been true even when there has been a well-qualified and honest Democrat opposing him. The mailer was sent by the Democrats for Leibell, even though the required filings never accounted for the expense or the contributions.
The Democrats for Tendy turned out to be Phil Keating, and Anthony Gair. Who were the Democrats for Leibell?
Added to that, Mr. Oliverio contributed to Gene Yetter’s last campaign against the Democratic contenders.
And, in his consistent support for Mr. Zarcone, Mr. Oliverio testified for Zarcone against Brian Gibbons, in an action in which John took Mr. Gibbons home away from him months after Mrs. Gibbons died. He also testified against Cathy Cornu in an action brought by John Zarcone against her for speaking at a Town Board meeting. He lost that one, but cost the victim thousands of dollars.
The reason that all this dirty linen matters is that there are good candidates running for Town Board and County
Legislature. Three intelligent and honest men have stepped up this year. Two are Democrats and one is a Republican, but Putnam Valley has no
issue with crossing party lines.
So be informed. Get to know Steve MacKay and Jay Michaelson for Town Board, and Alan Beals for County Legislature.
And be informed about the caliber of the opposition.
Putnam Valley deserves better, and in partial measure, we can get that this year.